OPINION: Attendance in college should not be mandatory

Jade Ellis 

[email protected] 

     Mental health days. Sick days. Visiting family. These are all reasons you should be able to skip class. These are things you should not even have to disclose to someone who does not know you personally.  

     In college, the vast majority of students are legal adults. Our professors are also adults who should understand the strain college can put on students. Therefore, professors should not require mandatory attendance in their classes. 

     College often requires students to balance many things in their life. Between school, jobs, having a social life, internships, career preparation and spending time with family, there can be little time to sit down and take care of ourselves.  

     Taking a day to catch up or recover is completely justifiable; however, our professors have the final say in whether we can still maintain our grades when we desperately need a day off. 

     Not to mention the days when we want a day off but cannot get one. This process creates high stress levels, burn out and jeopardizes students in the long-run. 

     Students are autonomous adults and understand the requirements of college courses. We know that if we go to class, we are likely to do better. However, we should get to make that decision for ourselves.  

     Professors should not have the final say about a decision that directly affects a student’s personal life, and they also are not entitled to any information about a student’s life. 

     If I am incredibly sick from my menstrual cycle, should I have to tell my professor so that my absence does not jeopardize my grades? Does a professor need to know what is happening to my body in order to let me pass their class? 

     If a student is suffering a loss in their family, do they need to tell their professor that personal information about their family? 

     The answer to all of these questions should be obvious, but as students we think that in order to pass a class, we need the professor to understand where we are coming from. Professors should not be entitled to any information about ourselves that we are not comfortable with sharing. 

     Some of my favorite professors have stated in their classes that if you ever need an extension to just reach out and tell them; they require no explanation as to why you need the extension. 

     In those courses, I have learned the most information and felt comfortable expressing my ideas as I knew my professor was understanding of my life as a student. 

     I reached out for an extension in those courses when I needed a day or two to catch up and my professors were more than accommodating of my needs. 

     If a course requires a student to devote their life and body and reveal personal information about their life in order to get a satisfactory grade, then that course is not worth attending.  

Stock photo courtesy of Unsplash.com.